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Connectable Feature: Meet Grace and Robin

"A person with Down syndrome changed my life. I met Robin when I was a sophomore in college studying art and psychology. Once a week, we would meet and I was her “Art Teacher,” but really, we were just drawing together and building a friendship.

When Robin’s mom passed, I became her caregiver fulltime. Over the next couple of years, Robin and I shared the deepest bond of friendship, an indescribable love for one another. She is disciplined, stubborn, empathetic, brave, curious, and joyful. Robin showed me how to see God in everyone.

Robin’s health has declined. She is in wonderfully caring hands now, and we see each other monthly. This journey is full of adoration and heartbreak. Knowing Robin has led me to my current job where I have the absolute JOY of teaching art to so many children and adults with Down syndrome and other intellectual differences at North Florida School of Special Education.

Seeing Robin and my students express themselves through art has also put me on this journey of becoming an art therapist so that I can better understand and serve this community. The most important thing I can share about people with Down syndrome is that they are PEOPLE. Just like any other group of individuals. There isn’t one personality trait that defines everyone.  In a perfect world, everyone would have a friend with Down syndrome or any different ability so that we can grow in understanding that we are more alike than different."

~Grace Williams, Art Teacher at North Florida School of Special Education